How 2020 has me feeling

When I said I'd go #NoGoals2020, I only meant I was gonna take a break from all the goals I set for myself, something that I do every year. Goals that I may or may not be able to achieve depending on my laziness the circumstances. Little did I know that I would literally be taking a break – from planning an overseas trip with my high school friends, exploring more museums, spending idle time in newly-discovered coffee shops, walking through aisles and aisles of items on sale at Forever 21, and browsing unfamiliar titles at book fairs. The pandemic has brought me a reasonable amount (I think) of fear, anxiety, and even cognitive dissonance (aren't we all?). Okay, I always have fear and anxiety even over the littlest of things but this accidental confinement just made it much worse.

I fear the virus itself, on how that micro-tiny thing claimed thousands of lives in a span of a few months. It’s not that I’m afraid to die, contrary to what some church people conclude about this somewhat rational fear. I am afraid of what I would need to go through before death. I fear that my autoimmune condition would once again be triggered, after years of symptoms being under control. I fear not being able to breathe again on my own and end up needing intubation. I am afraid of the possible pain I could go through, physically and emotionally. I am scared for my family and friends, of what they would have to suffer. Because it can really happen to anyone. And someone could be gone in just an instant. If you've witnessed a family member, or a friend, or even someone you know die because of Covid-19, you'd know that the virus is not something to be taken lightly. You'd understand what kind of fear I am talking about. It's the kind of fear that led me to keep myself from going out of the house ever since the quarantine period started, even with all the precautions available.

I am too anxious about my job – on how long it’ll hold up, and on how many freelance projects I would need to secure just in case, so to survive amidst this economic turmoil. I might sound selfish and privileged, but this is my reality. I need to buy medicines for MG, disinfectant, toothpaste and soap, pay utility bills, eat something other than processed food and canned goods, and also pay for Spotify Premium because I've realized a long time ago that music is the best therapy, and a better and a relatively cheaper option compared to any other drug and counselling (I even became a K-pop fan, for goodness' sake). I became too anxious about so many things, including the validity of my thoughts and feelings. Is it okay to stare at the ceiling for hours after I wake up in the morning? Is it acceptable to be scrolling aimlessly on social media for hours until I fall asleep? I normally enjoy the times of me being alone, but this forced aloneness proves to be a different story. It’s empty, void and not making any sense.

I have no idea when it even started, but reading a book suddenly became a task so difficult and heavy, when it used to be my refuge. The afternoons I spent curling up with a good book were nowhere to be found, replaced by long, lazy hours spent scrolling mindlessly through Facebook and Instagram. Writing feel-good fiction stories became typing a silly comment to a social media post of an unsuspecting stranger. Sometimes I tell myself it’s okay to take a break, to lie down on the bed and do nothing for hours. Other times I feel so useless in doing so, and I’d begin to self-pity because I am starting to become an unproductive part of society. All these things and more, keep me awake at night at times and wonder if I am still fit or if I need someone else to talk to rather than myself.

2020. It went by so quickly. I was really struggling to make it through the day, week by week. Until one day, I woke up and it’s December.

To you who’s reading this, good job for making it ’til today. Another one of my friends didn't.

Keep fighting!